Chainless accident results in flight to GJ for local woman

The accident occurred where you think it did

By Mark Reaman

For one participant in last week’s Crested Butte Bike Week’s Chainless World Championships race, the ride down Kebler resulted in a helicopter ride to Grand Junction.

A 39-year-old Crested Butte local woman, whose name is not being released under federal health privacy regulations, was injured in a crash near the finish line when another biker cut in front of her at the transition area from Old Kebler Pass Road and Elk Avenue. That turn is a frequent site of crashes— hay bales are situated along the perimeter and emergency medical technicians are located at the corner.

According to Crested Butte Fire Protection District operations chief Rob Weisbaum, the woman went down hard at that turn in the zero block of Elk Avenue when the other biker rode in front of her, and she struck her head on the street. She was unconscious for about three minutes. She was not wearing a helmet.

“Our crews were staged there and were on the scene immediately,” he said. “It was a very fast response and we provided support until she regained consciousness.”

The woman was then transported to the Buckhorn airport, where she was flown by helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction for further evaluation. Weisbaum said she improved quickly and was released from the hospital within 24 hours. She is back in Crested Butte and doing well, Weisbaum reported.

Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce executive director Ashley UpChurch said all riders in the chainless sign a waiver that includes the requirement for helmets. “The chamber strives to run safe events, and we require helmets in all of our bike events,” UpChurch noted. “This was a terrible accident, and our thoughts are with the individual and her family.”

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